Cash App Flip Scams: What You Need to Know

Cash App Flip Scams: What You Need to Know
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Cash App Flip Scams: What You Need to Know

Tushar Mehta
October 24, 2022

Cash App is a payments app for peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions, allowing users to send or receive money on their mobile devices. Besides exchanging money, Cash App also lets users invest in stocks or buy cryptocurrencies. This has given rise to what is known as the Cash App flip scam.

In this scam, a fraudster tempts victims by claiming they can “flip” a small amount of money into a larger sum. These fake offers are often made through social media. Because these scams only use Cash App as a medium to send money, there is little that customer support can offer to scam victims. Here are some simple tips to help you avoid the Cash App flip scam.

What are Cash flip scams?

Curiosity pulls people into scams and that is the starting point of most Cash App flip scams. Scammers target Cash App users with unrealistic promises of making sometimes five or even 10 times your original investment. Scammers sometimes refer to this money as a clearance fee or account verification payment, while others claim the victim has won a fake giveaway—and they can send you the money for a small fee.

“These scammers usually have legitimate looking profiles displaying strangers with a large sum of cash resulting from their participation in the fraudulent activity,” said Sandra Breault, a public affairs specialist with the FBI.

How does the Cash App flip scam work?

Just like every get-rich-quick scheme that makes bogus claims and ends in disaster, it is the same with Cash App flip scams. Here are some common tactics to lure victims:

Luring ads

Cash App flip scams scout for their victims through various means, the most predominant of which is social media. Cash App scammers show how they have been able to flip cash for scores of people with fake testimonials and made-up visuals.

Scammers lure the victims by flipping small amounts of money. Victims gain confidence by flipping smaller sums, but bigger investments of $100 and even $1,000 or more never come back.

Direct messaging

Cash App flip scammers also message victims directly. A fraudster goes to a user’s profile and chats with their potential victim. This method is known as prospecting—they send messages and monitor responses. One such message suggests there is a Cash App reward system and claims to have connections with the company’s customer representative.

These claims make the user believe the scammer can help them make more money off their transactions, thereby making them prey.

Related: Snapchat Scams: How to Best Protect You and Your Children

Fake giveaways

Another method deployed by these scammers claims the victim has won instant cash. Scammers pretend to run giveaways on behalf of Square—the founders of Cash App. While that is the appetizer, scammers feast on those who didn’t win the giveaway but can be easily tempted into believing they might have a second chance.

Cybersecurity expert Eric Florence said scammers piggybacked on Cash App Fridays, a sweepstakes Cash App runs that requires entrants to post on Twitter or Instagram.

“Cash App Fridays turned from a fun way to promote Cash App and help their customers out into a scammer’s dream in short order,” said Eric Florence, a cybersecurity consultant. “Customers who post their Cashtag get messages from scammers posing as Cash App employees telling them that they have won, but have to pay a fee for the funds to be released.”

The $1,000 scam

“I’ve seen so many Cash App flip scams, but one that stands out for me is the $1,000 scam,” said Andrew Lokenauth, the founder of Fluent in Finance.

This is how the scam works: You are notified your Cash App account has been credited $1,000. You check your account and find the $1,000 sitting there. You then receive a message from a scammer that they have credited the wrong account and ask you to return the money, which—if you’re honest—you do.

The original credit to you, however, is made from a stolen or cloned credit card, which will eventually be disputed and reversed. But the money sent by you to the scammer is legitimate. This means the scammer now has your $1,000, and you bear that loss.

How to avoid money flip scams

Here are some of the ways to avoid being scammed:

Don’t send money with promises of free money in return

The first principle is to know a legitimate person is highly unlikely to offer money upfront. Scammers can easily forge proof of valid payments and present them as rewards won by other people. Don’t be lured into it.

Only send cash to people you know and trust

Only accept requests to send money using Cash App to people you know personally.

Avoid sharing your personal information with anyone—including acquaintances—on social media. Never share your personal details on public forums or as comments on social media posts, even when there is a chance to win a handsome reward.

Lastly, make sure you enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for your account.

Check the recipient information and profile before sending

Scammers will always have a legitimate-looking profile to appear more credible. If you must transfer money to another account using Cash App, always ensure you sift through the recipient’s social media profile. Look for older posts or comments to ensure this is not a freshly created account.

Additionally, beware when someone claims to be a Cash App representative and asks you to share your details. An official representative will not ask for passwords, birth date, social security number or any codes that may arrive on your phone. More importantly, an authorized agent will never reach you themselves or suggest continuing the conversation outside the app on platforms like Facebook or WhatsApp.

“Individuals should be aware that Cash App will never request a sign-in code, PIN, Social Security number or the downloading of a remote access app, which you should always avoid,” said Steven Weisman, a New York-based cybersecurity expert and the author of “Scamicide.”

If it sounds too good to be true-it is

No matter how lucrative the exchange offer sounds, do not give into the temptation of getting free money.

If you see posts about millionaires giving away free money, it is highly likely to be a trap. The same also applies when you see someone giving away free cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, via Cash App or any other payments app. Remember, if it’s too good to be true, it’s probably fake.

Never share IDs or respond to unwarranted payments

Technology has made forgery easy. A scammer can reproduce not only phony proofs of payments but also fake your documents based on the details you unknowingly share with them. Do not send pictures or copies of critical documents like your driver’s license, social security number, passport or other ID.

Related: Zelle Scams: What You Need to Know to Best Protect Yourself

What to do if you are a victim of a Cash App flip scam

It is unfortunate if you fall victim to the Cash App flip scam. It’s never a good season to lose some bucks. Thankfully, not everything is lost when you get scammed on Cash App, but it is crucial to act promptly. Here are the steps you can take to stall the continuity of this activity:

  1. Go to Cash App.
  2. Tap the Profile icon in the top right corner of the app.
  3. Tap Support.
  4. Select Report a Payment Issue.
  5. Select the payment and follow the prompts.

If the scam is associated with a particular scammer profile instead of a specific payment, report and block a possible scam account by following these steps:

  1. Launch the Cash App.
  2. Tap on a Customer Avatar to view a profile. You can also search for a profile by entering a name, $Cashtag, phone number or email.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the profile and tap on “Report” or “Block.”
  4. Select one of the options and follow the next steps.

Additionally, you can reach out to the Cash App support team online or call 800-969-1940. You may also get in touch through Cash App’s social media accounts on Instagram, Twitter or TikTok.

Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.